An Outdoor Movie in Athens

Guest Post by: Bridget Staroscik O’Reilly

I would probably have never seen Gladiator; it just wasn’t my kind of movie. But there I sat, with an occasional glance up at the Acropolis, watching a movie about the ancient Roman Empire. I heard a dog bark in the background and then a few neighbors in the surrounding buildings squabbled with each other over what sounded to be longstanding grievances.

Acropolis of Athens GreeceOther tenants leaned out of the windows in said buildings, for a chance to see the latest movie for free. Assuming they could speak English or read subtitles at 35 feet. I found myself planning my new life as a tenant of one of the buildings and a waitress at Cine Paris. Then the lights of the night Acropolis distracted me and yet another major life change based on a travel whim was forgotten.

The evening air was warm, but not hot. The sweltering heat of earlier in the day had given way to the temperature of a well heated swimming pool. Holding a sweater I didn’t need, since that’s what I do, I sat next to my friends on the un-movie theater like seats of Cine Paris. Every few feet there was a table for the refreshments they served along with the movie. Having just eaten way more than I should have I didn’t even glance at the refreshment offerings.

It is a little known fact, or at least was little known to me, that in Greece a movie shown in a theater will likely be shown in it’s native language with Greek subtitles instead of translated into Greek. This is also done on TV which was a Godsend to me when I arrived at 4am after 28 hours of travel feeling hungry and unbelievably homesick. Let me tell you, nothing fixes that right up like back to back episodes of Cheers.

As I settled back into my seat to watch the movie, I took a moment to let it all sink in. I was in Athens, in Greece! About to watch Gladiator, which was a story about something that had taken place for real, not that far from where I was. I wanted to make a memory, so I closed my eyes, felt the warm air and listed to the voices around me. Mostly though, I just though about how amazing it all was and how incredible it felt to just be there.

There are truly lots of things to do in Athens, even at night. There are restaurants and shopping and of course the bar or club scene. Still I’m of the opinion that a bar or a club tends to be mostly the same everywhere; loud music, people on the prowl.  So when I had the opportunity to visit Cine Paris in the Plaka neighborhood of Athens I jumped at it. After all isn’t the whole point of travel to have a new experience you couldn’t have anywhere else. And the best part of all was that this was only the beginning.

If you want to find out more about Cine Paris, which was built in the early 20’s by a Greek hairdresser who had spent some time in Paris, thus the name.  You can visit their website at

This is located in the Plaka shopping area and you can find info on that area here



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